When there's a new champion in major-league baseball, the NBA, the NFL or the NHL, Enviromint creates a commemorative coin. The Mount Prospect, Ill., company also has made coins to honor individual achievements such as Nolan Ryan's strikeout record and Wayne Gretzky's record-breaking goal.
Enviromint is not making the official coin for Cal Ripken's record for consecutive games, but it has a best seller with Rawlings' official streak ball.
"I just didn't want to sit on the sidelines," says Enviromint president John Obie. "I wanted to participate in the event."
That led Enviromint, which had never marketed another company's products, to the exclusive radio rights to advertise the Rawlings ball and an agreement to distribute World Series and All-Star Game balls. Obie plans to pair the Series balls with coins and says his company is developing a holder for the set.
Collectors have ordered more than 6,000 balls from Enviromint, according to James Thompson, with 85 percent of the orders from the Baltimore area. He says sales also have been strong in Philadelphia, New York and San Francisco. "It's been a tremendous success."
There are three Ripken Enviromint coins: an MVP commemorative; a 1994 player coin; and a 1995 All-Star coin.
The Ripken baseball, which will be shipped in October, comes in a UV-protective holder from Rawlings and costs $24.95 plus shipping. Call (800) 299-MINT.
Upper Deck takes its racing super premium with Motorsports SP, a hobby-only set. Card design follows that of other SP offerings, and there are 150 basic cards plus three insert sets and a die-cut parallel set.
Collectors who order three Bill Goff calendars (any combination of 1996 or previous calendars) qualify for discounts on other Goff products. Call (800) 321-4633.
Rare wine bottles
Trevlin Collection, which created etched wine bottles of Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, is bringing out a line of bottles of each major-league club. There will be 250 of each, which cost $49 plus shipping and are filled with de-alcoholized wine. Call (714) 837-7998 or (714) 837-9795.
It's hockey time again
Upper Deck is adding the Collector's Choice line for hockey to replace Parkhurst. The design of the single-series set is similar to the Collector's Choice cards for baseball, football and basketball. There are 396 basic cards, and inserts include two parallel sets, a rookie trade-in card and a 10-card Wayne Gretzky retrospective set.
Friday-next Sunday, card show, Fifth Regiment Armory (expected signers include Willie Mays, Harmon Killebrew, Willie McCovey, Ernie Banks, Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson, Al Kaline and Whitey Ford), Friday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., next Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (914) 576-2900 or (718) 224-1795 after 4 p.m.
Oct. 5, auction at Christie's, 502 Park Ave., New York (items include a player piano owned by Babe Ruth; autographed baseballs, game jerseys of Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax, and Baltimore Sun press plates from Sept. 7, Cal Ripken's record game), (800) 395-6300 to order catalogs.
Oct. 6-8, card show, Eastpoint Mall (expected signers are Rick Dempsey and Greg Zaun), (410) 682-4375.
Card of the week
Action Packed continues as the official card of "Monday Night Football" with a 126-card set. Insert sets include a foil parallel set. There is also a Howard Cosell tribute card. (Shown is Steve Young on a promo card.)